POETICS OF THE GAZE AND THE IDENTITY

BAT Alberto Cornejo, Moret Art, Zielinsky and Jorge Alcolea Galleries

 

If there is something especially captivating about the portrait genre, that it is the gaze. For some time the importance of the characters portrayed does not reside exclusively in symbols of power but in the ability to capture psychological essence achieved by the portraitist, being precisely the gaze that gives the portrayed greater psychic depth. In addition, when, the eyes of the portrayed figure look directly at the spectator, there is an astonishing tension, a kind of restlessness that requires dialogue, which exhibits provocation. The power of the gaze seems eternal as if it had a greater consistency able to expose the contained intimacies.

José Ramón Lozano

Sin Título (VI), 2019

Acrylic on canvas

170 x 190cm

However, if the gaze can reflect a person's state of mind in an exceptional way, it can also hide it, make it confusing and inaccessible to external eyes that try to penetrate it. To identify or not to identify, the gaze expresses at the same time unique beings for some, similar ones to others, transcendental or insignificant. Both from the moral and aesthetic standpoint, those portrayed who look at us, who look at us in reality from our contemplation of the present, create a direct tension with the past and identity. Always with a cryptic like air, as the portrait prooves what we shall never be, what we are at the time that the photograph was taken or the portrait was painted, that sense of Barthes’ "this has been", these images are predicting our end.

Lantomo

Dim light-dark sea 1, 2019

Graphite and pastel on paper glued to wood

100 x 73cm

Within the great proposal of the BAT Gallery Alberto Cornejo (Madrid) what precisely stands out is the portraiture genre. The women portrayed by José Ramón Lozano usually look at us very consciously, almost demanding that we contemplate and finish the story that they themselves have opened. They have something memorable, a turning point in a possible story of internalized solitude so often accompanied by pain. Very different are the portraits of Lantomo (Antonella Montes), more intimate, more reserved. While the use of graphite, watercolour and pastel is one of the reasons that explains that the figures acquire these characteristics, so is the fact that their characters do not always look at us, but are absorbed in their thoughts and do not require the empathy of the observer.

Mária Švarbová

No Diving, Smykacka, 2016

Photography

70 x 70cm

Marta Sánchez Luengo

Llegará, 2016

Bronze and iron

102 x 121cm

Another of the most outstanding portrait artists of our times is Mária Švarbová, a photographer from which the BAT gallery will present a selection of their individual and collective portraits. We attend the portrait of childhood and the beginning of adolescence in stages of meticulous harmony, of bodies so perfect and similar that touch the dreamlike fiction. On the other hand, the figures included by Marta Sánchez Luengo In their sculptures are much more than natural and close, they are realistic. In fact, their naturalistic way of modelling and the attitudes of their characters, as every day as reading a book, waiting for the underground or just walking around thinking, can certainly remind us of the realists from Madrid and especially of some pieces by the master Julio López Hernández. Leticia Felgueroso’s works could also relate to the realists because they share the passion for portraying the city of Madrid, although in the case of Felgueroso is through photography and intervened chromaticism.

Gustavo Díaz Sosa

De la serie de Revelaciones y Encrucijadas, 2019

Técnica mixta sobre madera. Cara A

200 x 140cm

In this daily work proper of the great metropolises, the contemporary society is also exposed very well: multitudes of people who move on full of worries and anxieties, between haste, jams and "deadlines". This guided mass is a topic that Gustavo Díaz Sosa tends to reflect in series such as "Burócratas y Padrinos", "Huérfanos de Babel" or the most recent "Revelaciones y Encrucijadas". The imposed social behaviours also removed from natural impulses, is a subject that also concerns Rubén Martín de Lucas, of whom a selection of the series "The Garden of Fukuoka" is presented, work in which the Guest Artist of this edition confronts industrial and natural processes.

The BAT proposal closes with the all rounded shapes of the sculptures by Carlos Albert and Carlos Iglesias, Madrid successors of the Basque School of sculpture; the most fluid and sensual works in aluminium by Rafael Amarós; and the matter and lyrical abstractions of Fernando Palacios.

Lino Lago

Fake Abstract (F. Boucher), 2019

Oil on canvas

160 x 150cm

Daniel Sueiras

Sir Kristoff Tar Toffen the 3rd, 2019

Oil on board

93 x 80cm

Watch and reveal, play with what is hidden and what is shown, is a very particular feature of the Lino Lago portraits, an artist who participates in Art Madrid with the Moret Art gallery (A Coruña). This gallery will also present some of the latest works by Daniel Subeiras, such as the painting "Sir Kristoff Tar Toffee the 3rd" (2019), where the author introduces us to the new addition to his ingenious and extensive gallery of portraits, notable for its humorous component and by his masterful control of the oil-on-board technique. Along with the work of Subeiras, a selection of the sculptural work by Iván Prieto is presented: pieces made from its technical characteristic-ceramics after painted with acrylics-in which contemporary bodies, always defective, without abandoning the crave of an impossible and imposed perfection, they are exaggeratedly distorted to the point of reaching surrealistic, extravagant, more beautiful forms.

Xurxo Gómez-Chao

Magnolia y calavera (Tempus fugit), 2018

Photography. Mineral pigments on Ilford Prestige paper 270 g

100 x 100cm

Moret Art will also include in its proposal the pieces by Miguel Piñeiro, contemporary still lifes of icons from the culture of our time, especially surprising for the high degree of hyperrealism; and the photographs by Xurxo Gómez-Chao, of which two of his lines of work are presented: on the one hand, a set of the beautiful vanitas stagings, and on the other, his more mystery images of rooms, in which a kind of mist seems to have evaporated the previous presence.

Pachi Santiago

Cerca desde lo masculino, 2012

Light box

42.5 x 32.5cm

Juan Fielitz

Desnudo III, 2018

Hahnemühle paper

120 x 74cm

Within the proposal of the Zielinsky Gallery (Barcelona) it is worth highlighting the work of Pachi Santiago, artist who offers the most explicit game around identity, gaze, codes of representation and appropriation, as we see in the broad project "Copying Claudia", in which the spectator can take part in the same feelings. The appropriation, manipulation and interest in the ways of portraying the human body, is something that he shares with the artist Juan Fielitz who, on the opposite, hides the faces or body parts that we would like to see from the portrayed. Thus, in these images collected in archives, the artist stripped the portrayed of his identity, offering in his final photomontages a poetic ensemble of enigmatic fragments.

Yamandú Canosa

Vértice, 2016

Oil on wood

47.2 x 40cm

Zielinsky will also expose the photographs by Eduardo Marco, in which an attentive and contemplative look allows us to repair in the beauty that so often goes unnoticed in the big city; surreal and pop worlds, full of winks in which to recognize ourselves, by Joaquín Lalanne; and the cartographies by Yamandú Canosa, metaphors of our being, of our way of living: at the end portraits of emotions that explain our displacement.

Eloy Morales

Figure 1, 2018

Oil on canvas

100 x 100cm

Some gazes are unique, such as those achieved by Eloy Morales in his huge portraits and self-portrait, that the Jorge Alcolea gallery will show. As the artist explains, for him "the important thing is to show through the work your way of seeing things and the way you present them to the spectator" always maintaining a deep concern for "the tremendous power of the image and its endless possibilities." Other gazes, equally interesting and perhaps more unfathomable, are those from the animal world, some like the bears that star in the latest works by Miguel Macalla.

Isidre Tolosa

Diarios, carpeta y libros, 2018

Mármol de calatorao y hierro

11 x 30cm

Jorge Alcolea's proposal is completed with the urban and nocturnal portraits by Carlos Azañedo, those in which the postmodern city never stops never sleeps and each one of us is only "another one". Also in its stand you will be able to see the realistic sculptures by Isidre Tolosa, personal objects like books or diaries that, likewise, can be the best portraits of ourselves because of everything so personal that they reveal; and the paintings by Isabel Ramoneda, free and careless abstractions on paper accompanied by handwritten thoughts.

Multiple gazes for multiple identities; always open works, eternally expectant in front of the possible gaze of the spectator: these are some of the works that can be enjoyed in the new edition of Art Madrid.

 

The cultural agenda gradually recovers after the health-crisis halt and art lovers are eager to enjoy the rich cultural offer that the different spaces and museums throughout our geography have to offer. In addition, one must remember that these centres have made an enormous effort to adapt to the demands that the new situation imposes and have created abundant online-accessible content to overcome confinement. We bring you a selection of content that can be visited both in person and through the web. There is no excuse for not enjoying contemporary art again.

Olafur Eliasson, “En la vida real (In real life)”, 2019

The Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao continues with its exhibition dedicated to Olafur Eliasson and offers numerous resources to understand not only the exhibition but also the work of the centre in the assembly and installation process. The website allows us to expand content with interviews with the artist, the download of the audio guide and the vision of the curator Lucía Aguirre, who offers us different video-pills on the pieces in the exhibition.

"Olafur Eliasson: in real life" brings together a part of this artist's work since 1990 through sculptures, photographs, paintings and installations that play with reflections and colours. Likewise, the integration of elements such as moss, water, ice, fog... put the visitor in a situation that confuses the senses and tries to challenge the way we perceive our environment and move in it.

Regina de Miguel, “Isla Decepción”, 2017

The Botín Centre in Santander hosts the exhibition "Collecting processes: 25 years of Itineraries" which brings together the work of 25 of the 210 scholarship recipients who, to date, have enjoyed the Botín Foundation Plastic Arts Scholarship, started in 1993. With the works Lara Almárcegui, Basma Alsharif, Leonor Antunes, Javier Arce, Erick Beltrán, David Bestué, Bleda and Rosa, Nuno Cera, Patricia Dauder, Patricia Esquivias, Karlos Gil, Carlos Irijalba, Adrià Julià, Juan López, Rogelio López Cuenca, Renata Lucas, Mateo Maté, Jorge Méndez Blake, Regina de Miguel, Leticia Ramos, Fernando Sánchez Castillo, Teresa Solar Abboud, Leonor Serrano Rivas, Jorge Yeregui, David Zink-Yi, the exhibition is a good example of up-to-date and young contemporary art contributed by artists with very diverse profiles.

Clemente Bernad. Series “Ante el umbral”, Madrid, 2020

The Reina Sofía Museum wanted to create a visual chronicle of what the confinement and the tragic numbers of infected and deceased have meant for the lives of many of us: a tale of pain, nostalgia and uncertainty made by the photographer Clemente Bernad. This exhibition, curated by Jorge Moreno Andrés, is entitled “Before the threshold”, a title that expresses the strange sensation that occurs when faced with something new and unknown, something that we cannot control or avoid, and that we all must go through. The alteration imposed on our lives unexpectedly is reflected in the streets, transformed into places of solitude and abandonment where life has been paralysed.

Mario Merz / No title, Triplo Igloo, 1984 MAXXI Collection

At the IVAM, the exhibition "What is our home?" brings together works from the IVAM collection and the MAXXI centre in Rome to propose a reflection on the space we inhabit seen from a personal and social perspective. It is about investigating the value that these spaces have as a home or refuge, as well as part of a city or community.

The exhibition, curated by José Miguel G. Cortés, also wants to delve into the feeling of those who feel like foreigners anywhere, because they do not identify with the habits or customs of the society, they do not fit into these social patterns, and home becomes the only shelter space that can adapt to their identity needs.

Martha Rosler, frame from “Backyard Economy I-II”, 1974 © Courtesy of Martha Rosler, 2020

Es Baluard Museu is committed to video creation and performance and hosts the monographic exhibition “Martha Rosler. How do we get there from here?” dedicated to this New York artist who pioneered the use of video as a mechanism for social and political analysis. This exhibition includes various works, from video to photography and several publications, which synthesise her main lines of discourse. Her concern for public policies and the social equality of women has led her to actively participate in numerous social movements in La Havana, New York, Mexico DC or Barcelona, and these experiences are present in one way or another in her work.

With the curatorship of Inma Prieto, a selection has been made within the abundant production of this artist, which presents one of the most coherent careers in towards-the-new-Millenium contemporary art.

Image from file, via meiac.es/turbulence/archive/acceso.html

The MEIAC - Museo Extremeño e Iberoamericano de Arte Contemporáneo, host the works of the prestigious international digital art archive "Turbulence", a platform dedicated to network and hybrid art. In view of the inevitable closure of this institution, the MEIAC has offered to host all this valuable content collected since 1996. The uploading of the file also served as an opportunity to restore numerous pieces and convert formats so that files that had become obsolete remain readable by new systems. A huge job of conservation and updating that can be enjoyed online today. The archive is made up of hundreds of digital works from around the world that can now be visited remotely.